Music Q&A: Public Service Broadcasting

J Willgoose Esq of the electro alt rock group chats as their tour bus heads for Manchester Academy, 16 Oct and Leeds Academy, 19 Oct

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What informs your music and songwriting?
Listening to other music, reading books, watching films, walking, talking, living – anything that gets the creative side of the brain going, really. I often find the creative side of the brain really kicks in as a reaction to or from something, so the more stimulation you can give it, the more you’re likely to get out of it.

How have you evolved as a band over the years?
It’s not really for me to judge, ultimately. From a few objective viewpoints though such as number of members (from one to three and four) to the way we use samples to tell more of a story these days rather than just as decoration, as per the first few songs I wrote as PSB, I feel like we’re in a state of constant evolution and change, which seems to be a healthy place to be as a band.

What are you up to at the moment artistically?
Touring, mostly, so trying (and failing) to take care of myself and making sure I know what I’m doing on stage every night. I fail there, too, reasonably often. At the same time I’m looking at new methods of working for the next release, as well as starting to do some research and thinking about the next album.

What’s on your rider?
Start with the healthy stuff – fruit, fruit smoothies, coconut water, veg platters and for this tour we’re trying to go plastic-bottle-free so we’ve bought flasks for all the band and crew (and support). The amount of wastage – especially of water, where people come into the dressing room, open a bottle, take a sip, put it down and forget which is theirs – is really depressing, so we’re trying to do something about it. Then there’s all the unhealthy stuff – crisps, snacks, lots (and lots) of booze.

Tell us your most embarrassing or surreal experience.
We’ve only ever had to abandon one show due to catastrophic technical failure, in Bologna in 2014, and that had me depressed for about a week. Thankfully the steps we took after that show in terms of resilience and backup have seen us do OK in the interim.

What song do you wish you’d written?
All the good ones. I could choose 10 different songs a day for this question. Today let’s say Nude by Radiohead.

What’s your worst lyric?
I haven’t written many, due to the nature of the band. I hope the ones I have written are all right, to be honest. There were plenty of terrible ones back in the day though, in former outfits… but the past is sometimes best left in the past!

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